Brazil downplays missing FIFA’s stadium deadline
The Brazilian government has brushed aside the importance of
more delays in completing 2014 World Cup stadiums, saying that
missing FIFA’s deadline will not affect the country’s ability to
successfully host next year’s tournament.
A day after FIFA Secretary General Jerome Valcke said three
stadiums would not be ready in time for the Dec. 31 deadline,
Brazilian officials said they actually plan to deliver all six
remaining venues after that date.
They claim only three are delayed, with the other three being
handed over after the expected date only because of problems
accommodating the schedule of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff,
who wants to be present for the ceremonies.
”In every wedding that I attended the bride was late. I’ve
never seen a bride arrive on time. But I’ve never seen a wedding
not happen because of that,” Brazil’s Sports Minister Aldo Rebelo
said. ”It’s probable that there will be a delay here or there, but
nothing too significant. What is important is that all of the
stadiums will be ready.”
FIFA has already said it will have to change plans at the venues
because of the delivery delays. FIFA Marketing Director Thierry
Weil said the schedule for the release of tickets has already been
slightly altered because the seating plans have not been finalized,
and football’s governing body said other areas will also be
”Due to the reduced timeline, FIFA, the LOC, government and
stadium authorities are adjusting the stadium operational program
to ensure that the stadiums are delivered and host events prior to
the FIFA World Cup without compromising on safety or quality,”
FIFA said in a statement.
Brazilian officials reiterated there was no reason for
”We are in a much more advanced stage at this point in time
than we were before the Confederations Cup,” Brazil’s deputy
sports minister Luis Fernandes said. ”In March, there were still
doubts whether the Maracana would be ready for the final. We are in
a much better position now. The only doubt we have is related to
the Sao Paulo stadium.”
Sao Paulo remains the biggest question mark after a crane
collapse last week killed two workers and damaged part of the
stadium. A report on the scale of the damage is expected by the end
of the week.
But there is still confusion about the delivery date of the
other five stadiums that aren’t ready, with the government, local
World Cup organizers and FIFA saying different things. The other
six World Cup stadiums were ready for the Confederations Cup.
Valcke had said that in addition to Sao Paulo, the southern city
of Curitiba and the wetlands city of Cuiaba also would not be ready
to deliver their stadiums by the end of the year as expected. He
said they would likely be ready in January or February.
Rebelo, the government official in charge of Brazil’s
preparations for the World Cup and the 2016 Rio Olympics, said
Wednesday that the stadium in Porto Alegre was also delayed, and
that all six remaining stadiums will be only be delivered in
The local World Cup organizing committee had said that only Sao
Paulo and Curitiba were facing delays, and that Curitiba might not
be ready until March.
”They will all be delivered with enough time for the test
events that are needed before the World Cup,” Rebelo said.
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